Meet the Multi-Disciplinary Team
Family Liaison Officer
At Southfield, I am responsible for every child's transition into and out of school as well as their journey with us. I am the one consistent person for families throughout their time with us. I am the mental health lead for school for children and staff and have had this role for 4 years.
Other area's that I am responsible for are attendance, transport, social media and website pages and updates, extra-curricular activities, ELSA, and I am a member of the safeguarding team and the leadership team. I also support FOSS (PTA) with planning and running events.
Speech therapy team
The NHS Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT) Team provides support with speech language and communication skills at Southfield. Our support is integrated within the pupil’s daily routine.
The SaLT service is commissioned to provide a school-based service to support the development of communication skills thereby facilitating access to the curriculum. The service follows a model of delivery which recognises that communication occurs all the time in every situation. There is therefore a need for everyone working with children to be skilled in supporting children’s individual speech, language, and communication needs.
We work as a team with teaching staff to ensure that your child’s individualised targets are integrated into the school day. Support is delivered flexibly around the curriculum and school day therefore appointment letters are not routinely provided.
We offer specialist support for pupils if Speech and Language Therapy is identified in their Education, Health and Care Plan https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/microsites/local-offer/Education-Health-and-Care-Plans/Education-health-and-care-plans-EHCP.aspx(EHCP). When a child moves into Southfield from a mainstream school with SaLT hours included in their EHCP, we will assess their needs within the context of their new setting and agree communication targets with the class teacher. If it is felt that the child’s communication needs can be met by the specialist schooling provision, their hours may be reduced, or the child discharged.
Children may also be referred at other times if there is a new concern from parent/carer or class teacher.
The input we provide will depend on a child’s unique profile and needs. We may work directly with some pupils if appropriate, either individually or in groups. We often support children in the classroom as research shows this is where most progress can be made. We also support staff to make adaptations to the language and visuals used in class to ensure communication needs are supported in the best possible way, and to ensure communication goals are integrated into curriculum activities.
We contribute to annual reviews by writing reports; these identify progress made over the past year and highlight new targets and general communication strategies to be used at home and at school.
We train parents/carers about communication through coffee mornings and telephone conversations. We are also available to provide informal advice should there be general queries about communication.
School staff receive training from our service via all staff training, and we provide top ups for classes as required.
We work closely with teaching staff and with any other professionals involved with the child, including independent Speech and Language Therapists. We actively encourage parents and carers to be involved in each child’s therapy journey. Parents, carers and other professionals are encouraged to contact us at any time through the school’s main office or the SaLT admin telephone number (01923 470680 Option 3)
You can find more information on our website.
Speech and Language Therapists
Katie Wright - Tuesday
Speech and Language Assistant
Olivia Crouch – Tuesday and half a day on Wednesday
Helen Croucher- Speech Therapist
I have been a speech and language therapist for 17 years, with experience in both NHS and private healthcare settings, including as a Service Lead and Specialist Therapist. I currently work 3 days a week in a special secondary school for neurodiverse students. I also work independently one day a week with younger students with SEN at Southfield School . I have been visiting Southfield for many years and love working with the students and staff there to support communication across home and school. I take a collaborative approach to therapy, working with parents/carers, key staff and NHS therapists to embed communication support throughout the day. My focus is on functional outcomes and enabling your child's participation in activities.
I have a special interest in children with Autism and SEN, and have completed a range of specialist training courses in this area.
Outside of work, I am a mum of two (9 and 5 years), so have some understanding of the parent perspective, and of what appeals to and motivates children and young people.
Play Therapist- Beth Scally
I have worked with children with learning disabilities for over 20 years in various settings and I have been a Play Therapist at Southfield’s since 2017.
I have a post graduate diploma in Play Therapy and support children who are not realising their full potential. These children may have emotional, behavioural or social difficulties, or have struggled with difficult experiences. As a play therapist I help children to tell their story, make sense of their experiences, thoughts and feelings and develop coping mechanisms, build self-esteem, confidence and resilience.
Fun Fact: I love to do silly dancing in my living room to very loud music
Art Therapist- Ruth Goodman
My name is Ruth Goodman, I am a practicing artist and art therapist. Prior to completing my Masters in art therapy, I worked in primary education as a teacher and adviser.
Art therapy is an intervention that offers an opportunity for self-expression. Art can be a method of communication for young people who may find it hard to express their thoughts and feelings verbally. It gives a voice to young people who are non-verbal or have language limitations, enabling them to express themselves in a safe space with a regulating therapist. Art therapists work with a broad range of art materials that provide opportunities for creative expression, sensory exploration and problem solving without restriction or fear of judgement. The creative process gives a sense of accomplishment, building self-esteem and self-awareness on an individual level. It engages both the body and mind. It can lead to self-discovery of emotions and help young people to work through troubling issues in order to facilitate positive change.
Mental Health Support Team- Katie Darvell- Positive Behaviour Analyst
I’m Katie Darvell and I am part of The Mental Health Support Team in SEN Schools (MHST) working as a Positive Behaviour Analyst (PBA). The MHST is an early intervention service supporting children and young people with anxiety, low mood, sleep, behaviours which challenge and emotion regulation. We offer proactive and preventative support which can be delivered as 1:1 sessions, groups, and workshops. Our support is delivered to both children and parents / carers. If you are interested in support from The MHST you can discuss a referral being made to the team with staff at Southfield. We work closely with Southfield to provide wellbeing support as part of the ‘Whole School Approach’, which emphasises the importance of all students accessing wellbeing support at school.
Occupational Therapist- Gemma Blackburn
Occupational therapy (OT) for children and young people focuses on enabling participation in the daily life (occupations) that they need or want to do. Some young people experience difficulties doing things important to them at home, school or in their free time due to physical, learning or mental health needs. Some of these difficulties can also occur because of an illness, family circumstance, or changes as they grow and develop. Occupational Therapists recognises the occupations which are essential for young people, which include self-care activities (getting dressed, eating, toileting), productive occupations at school (learning, following rules) and play and leisure activities (socialising, sports, hobbies). Occupational Therapy at Southfields is delivered by Whole Child Therapy.
Welwyn and Hatfield schools partnership
Their role in supporting Southfield school and families is to provide support, advice and information to our school community. They can help you with any worries that you may have in relation to your child's education, behaviour and wellbeing.
A family support worker can meet with you at home or in school at a time to suit you. Advice and support is confidential although concerns relating to the safeguarding of children will always be dealt with in accordance with the school's Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy.
Support for pupils includes:
- promoting good attendance and punctuality
- promoting self-esteem and confidence
- promoting positive behaviour and positive attitudes towards learning
- providing one-to-one support
Support for families includes:
- providing information and signposting to other services in the local area
- liaising with a range of external services such as Housing and Social Care
- assistance in completing paperwork and forms e.g. housing, special educational needs, school places and benefits
- attendance and support at school and other agency meetings
- advice and support in promoting positive behaviour at home
- guidance with career and personal development and access to training and workshops in school.
If you would like to speak with a school family worker, please speak to Sarah Lettis, Southfield Family Liaison Officer. Also, keep an eye on the Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield School Partnership Facebook page for details of new courses and support groups and on their website. The link is below.
Music teacher- Dan Bartlett
My qualifications include a Bachelor of Education Honours Degree (First Class) and I have been teaching in primary, college and university settings for over a quarter of a century. My work as a professional musician has led me to collaborate with various high-profile musicians and producers such as Marty Wilde, Michael Jackson, Steps, Uri Geller and Paul Rodriguez. I am also a published author of children’s music books.
I strongly believe in the healing power of music, its ability to break boundaries and reach every single human being regardless of what their personal circumstances maybe. Every child should have access to music and it is my aim to foster a love of rhythm and melody and to enable self-expression in each individual that I teach through singing, movement, and playing instruments. Music is known to bring joy, it cultivates inclusion, and transcends borders, races and creeds.
I consider it an honour and a privilege to work with your children and help them on their musical journey.
To quote the Roman Stoic Seneca “Music is power and power is music”.